All 2 entries tagged Environmental

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July 07, 2016

The never ending cycle

This a completely different blog, to what I usually write. I came across an interesting concept today, which involves a combination of literally everything I have learnt so far this year. I have learnt that improving a company internally by itself is simply not enough. Optimising and improving manufacturing processes and products is simply not enough. As excellence models suggest, this optimisation should occur through the full product life cycle, from suppliers till the final end consumer. This consequently suggests that some form of knowledge sharing should occur. The customers will be able to give views and feedback on the kind of product they desire, and the sort of needs they require the product to fulfil. In the context of my reading, this involved the carbon footprint of the product. Sometimes manufacturing processes are optimised to reduce environmental impact, but what is not taken into account is the impact that the final product has, when it is in the hands of the consumer/customer. An example of this are the famous trucks of the United States, the guzzlers as they are so known. They were designed optimally, the manufacturing processes had very little environmental impact. But the final product exceeded all savings and reductions.

Reading further, this is what the Design for Six Sigma base of Design for the Environment is all about. It is about considering final use environmental impact as well during design stages. And what an important role knowledge sharing plays here in support. Information must be retrieved from as many stakeholders as possible. This involves first creating support mechanisms to generate the knowledge, and a review and analysis of this data to ensure reliability. The final stage involves application, which starts the cycle again, moving from an external to internal structure, where now the suppliers as well as people within the organisation can now share the generated information and apply it. And the never ending cycle moves on…

July 04, 2016

Let's preserve and protect our Earth

Throughout my life, I have only observed asset management to be considered from a financial perspective. Everyone around me always talks about how managing their assets increases their wealth, and is often confused with the modern term of wealth management. So for me, it took me by surprise when I came across the term asset management in this module. But all the categories discussed make sense, especially when I think about it from an engineering point of view, which I’m sure by now you are all aware is my previous background. It was sort of comforting to see that areas linked to the health and safety of employees, the security of employees, as well as environmental concerns were being considered as part of asset management.

I am a true believer that our earth and all its natural resources must be conserved, preserved and treasured. Due to rapid globalisation and urbanisation, our planet is being destroyed through atmospheric pollution, water contamination, deforestation, amongst others and natural causes. Living standards and the development of the human race has led to higher pressures on industry to produce to demand, increasing industrial waste and pollutants. These must be reduced in every way possible, in order to protect our earth and the natural resources it bears. Organisations today must therefore also include environmental management systems in their strategy. For the basic reader, this involves the removal or minimisation of as many sources of waste and pollution as possible. This could include carbon dioxide emissions, waste water, toxic chemicals, as well as intangibles such as noise pollution. One thing that I believe is a perception of the older generation, is that all such measures come at high costs to the business. In effect, this is true, as most measures require initial fairly large initial investments, and payback is not seen for a few years after. However, reduction of wastes actually involves improvement of processes, products and services, which means lower overheads and therefore savings to the cost of doing business. This is very simplified, but is the point that needs to get across to the world out there today.

Several standards have been implemented as a result of this, as can be seen in ISO 14001 and 50001. If we want to continue doing business on this earth, let us not use these standards as basic guidelines to follow, but actually believe in the principles that govern these standards and practice them. If we kill our earth and deplete all the natural resources available, there won’t be another earth for us to continue doing our business on.

save earth

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